Buying a house is not as complicated as you might think. Home ownership can be a smart long term move but remember to plan for it. The first step towards successfully buying a home is mastering your personal finances.
A. Get familiar with what I call the MONEY PLAY.
- Estimate how much money you need for a house down payment (3-20% of the sales price).
- Know your credit score and decide if you need to improve it.
- How much do you think you can afford to pay monthly towards the mortgage?
- Your monthly mortgage should be around 40% or less of your monthly earnings.
B. MONEY PLAY 2.
- Meet with a lender ASAP.
- Meeting the lender will help you know your strengths and weaknesses. You will learn about your credit worthiness and decide HOW MUCH HOUSE YOU CAN AFFORD.
- Get pre-approved.
C. MONEY PLAY 3 -EXPENSES.
In addition to a down payment, there will be a lots of expenses.
- Inspections on the home. (home inspection and radon test can be $400-600, depending on the size of the home)
- Earnest Money Deposit(1-3% of sale price-given to the seller when you make an offer)
- Closing costs: for property taxes, documents preparation,insurance,moving costs and more.(2-4% of the sale price)
- Make a spreadsheet and itemize all expenses involved in buying your home. The spreadsheet will help you estimate of how much additional cash you need to close.
D. HOUSE MATTERS.
- Decide on the location and size of the home.
- Focus on your lifestyle and what fits into your family lifestyle.
- Focus on schools, your commute, and less on all home buying Hoo-Haa.
- Get a reputable Inspector.
- Estimate replacement costs for large items; roofs, HVAC or any costly item you identify on inspection.
- Remember most houses have lots of minor repair issues.
- Decide on repair issues to walk away from; such foundation issue.
F. MONEY PLAY 4.
Build a reserve fund; the older the home the more expenses you will have.
THINGS TO KEEP IN YOUR HEAD;
- There is no perfect house, but you will find the right house for you or your family.
- You do not need to see 100 plus homes before you buy.
- Buying a home can be an emotional process, its ok to get emotional but remember to take a step back and review if you are making decisions for the right reasons.
- Always think long term.
If you are looking for a realtor to work with contact me at 240-687-1788(firstname.lastname@example.org)